Native Plants for Sale Here

It's like being a kid in a candy store! There are tons of native plants on sale at the Conference today, plus the chance to talk to knowledgeable growers for advice. A real treat! We usually feature plants here, but I thought you might like to meet the people behind the plants, and hear a little of what they had to say.

Sharon Dolan, left, of Maple Street Natives in Melbourne, said that people were looking for plants that were drought tolerant and cold tolerant. She has been selling a lot of Adam's needle and Asclepias tuberosa. She's holding starry rosinweed, another big seller.

Her husband, Brent, enjoyed going in and hearing some of the presentations yesterday, especially Stephen Buchmann's talk 'Trouble in Paradise: Are We Loosing Our Native Bees?' Brent appreciated the fact that Stephen was so personable and he was able to go up and ask questions after the talk. I went to that one, too, and learned so much. You'll be hearing more later on topic!

Jim Nelson, of Green Images, in Christmas, said that one of their biggest sellers was Serenoa repens. They sell a lot of palmettos for restoration and development, but are open for retail two days a week, (407-568-1333). They have a lovely blue variety, the Seranoa repens, var. glaucus, for sale. Jim had a huge variety of plants for sale in addition to the palmettos, lots of flowers and shrubs. He said he was not going to have to take as many home as he had feared!
Nursery sales have taken a hit lately, along with everything else, but there were a lot of people here who had lists they had been longing to fill.


How to plant a pawpaw
"I figured people were gettin' hammered with four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices, so I figured I'd give 'em a break. I dropped my prices today," said Terri, of Pietro's PawPaws. As I walked up she was explaining patiently, "There is only one plant a zebra swallowtail will lay their eggs on, because it's the only one the caterpillar babies can eat..." There are eight species of native pawpaw in Florida, all of fruit-bearing. Terri had four species on sale today in a specially designed container that accommodates their long taproot. We've blogged about Terri before; click her link above for contact info.



Brightman Logan, All Native
Brightman Logan, of All Native in central Florida said that groundcovers were among his biggest sellers this weekend. He sold out of Mimosa strigillosa "People are tired of turf," he said. "You have to realize that there is still going to be maintenance," he cautioned, "It's just a different kind of maintenance." More on that later, too!


Marc Godts, Green Isle
 Terry and Marc Godts were here from Green Isle Gardens. They had a lot to say about why there are in the business of selling of native plants, and Terry is going to blog for us here soon. Look them up on Facebook.  Terry expressed her gratitude for hearing Doug Tallamy's keynote speech at the Palm Beach Conference two years ago. He really did do a lot of good! (My chapter! Go Palm Beach!) Terry told me that Marc recently completed a design where a sterile turf yard was transformed to an all-natives forest. Terry, we are waiting for those pictures!


Frances Alsobrook, on the left, from Hawthorne, said that the tarflower was his biggest seller. "People see them and know what they are and they want them," he said. 

We voted on some changes to the FNPS by-laws this morning, to streamline the board meetings, and Frances told me that he had helped write the first by-laws over 30 years ago! Now that's pretty cool. He doesn't have a website, but he knows a ton, and you can call  him at 481-3795 if you're near Hawthorne.




Sarah Keifer, The Natives
William and Nancy Bissett, of The Natives, were both here this weekend, along with Nancy's daughter, Sarah Keifer, who is their office manager. Nancy gave a presentation this morning about scrub restoration on former orange groves. More later, again! Honestly, you should have been here! The Bissetts sold a lot of wildflowers, and said folks were asking a lot of questions about xeriscapes. They too, sold out of Mimosa strigillosa because of demand for groundcovers. 

There has just been so much going on this weekend, it has been impossible to take it all in and write about it, too. But you can bet you will be learning more as we have the chance to read our notes and share. 


Congratulations to the 2011 Conference Team, you have done a fantastic job!


sue dingwell



 

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for the mini visit, wish I could have been there.
Ginny Stibolt said…
It was a great conference and I learned a lot and enjoyed hearing about what great activists we have working on behalf of the environment here in Florida. But Sue's right: the plants (and their growers) are the stars!

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